How should I deal with a difficult colleague I was asked recently
The party in question informed me that her work place is a creative and competitive environment, and everyone is, for the most part, encouraging and supportive.
Then she went on to say
"After some recent changes I am finding one of my new colleagues very difficult.
She is disruptive, controlling and creates an unpleasant atmosphere.
When our boss is not around she will be rude and agressive
She has problems when anyone else has a good idea or suggestion
She also likes to undermine me in front of my colleagues
When the boss is around though she is obsequious and oh so polite and stops her unpleasant behaviour
This makes me dread going into work where before I used to enjoy my work
No one can be sure who she will turn on next or who will be put down
So what can I do"?
Firstly many companies have these sort of people and they are to be found particularly where the compnay is competitive or going through changes
And or in companies where times are difficult or stressed
The bully is often inadequate and during times of change can feel threatened by those she feels are more capable or popular than herself
Basically you have three choices leave, try to ignore it, or fight back
You said you don't want to leave, and as you have asked what you can do it is clear you do not want to ignore it
This leads to the steps you can take to address this issueFacing up to your colleague means making sure that you are prepared
Keep a note of things that she has said or done, with the dates, times and places
Find support from your friends and family
Once you feel you have enough examples of her behaviour meet her alone and face to face.
Pick a time and place where you will not be interrupted
Remember bullies are usually cowards and do not like open discussion or face to face meetings
They bluster, often lie very smoothly and distort the truth, so be prepared
Have your meeting when you are feeling calm and have time to talk properly.
Tell her clearly what she has done and why you find her behaviour unacceptable.
Give her the chance to reply, which will often be a lengthy denial or even a refusal to respond
Then tell her how you want things to change and what you will do if they do not
Let her know that you would prefer to be colleagues rather than adversaries
Should things not improve, and be clear about this, then you will make a formal complaint to your boss
Allow enough time for her to show her reaction to your conversation and also continue during this time with your notes of events and her behaviour
If her behaviour does improve for the better, then show a positive reaction.
If there isn’t a change, do what you threatened to do and go to your boss.
Should your boss not do anything, then file a formal complaint.
It will not be easy or comfortable but this is what bulies play on that no one will confront them face to face
That said you will not feel good now that you have come this far if you do not confront her
Go for it